Recently I met a group of wonderful and up and coming budding junior developers ready to be thrust into the software development industry. These were students of Code Your Future which is an organisation which supports refugees and disadvantaged individuals with the dream of becoming software developers.
Code Your Future teaches them a full stack of web technologies (Node, JS, React, HTML & CSS). Not only technical skills are taught but also soft skills to make learning, teamwork and job interviews easier.
With Capgemini being a partner of Code Your Future, I got the chance to get involved and becoming a guest volunteer, using my skills to help bridge the digital divide, helping those from under-represented groups on the path to employment
Until now, I have completed two sessions with the Code Your Future at Capgemini’s London office where I got to see the student’s technical expertise and how far the Code Your Future programme has taken them.
The group exercise was a session which was familiar to me because two-year prior to the this I had completed a similar exercise when I was interviewed for a graduate role at Capgemini.
Performing the group exercise and taking on the feedback provided by the volunteers would give them some good practice for part of the interview process at some companies or at least graduate-level interviews at Capgemini.
For this session, they had 30 minutes to design the solution architecture and UI for software product using the information given on a few sheets of paper.
While this was happening, the volunteers would watch them closely and noting down what we thought was good or could be improved. Towards the end of the 30 minutes around the 20-minute mark, a curveball is thrown into the mix, resulting in only 5 minutes left.
This started to put the pressure on the students and tested how they deal with change. In my experience, it has been a fairly common scenario that curveballs to be thrown in at different times of a software project, due to a requirement change or a reduction in time. After the 25 minutes was up, it was time for each group to present to everyone in the room.
The volunteers then asked a question to ensure that the group has considered certain aspects of the solution. We even asked some questions which they were not expected to know at their current level just to see how they dealt with it.
As a volunteer, it was my time to give feedback and I had notes on how the group’s time management was, how they worked together, feedback on the solution, how clearly it was presented and so on. I picked two positives and three things to improved and explained my reasoning behind.
When it came to the speed networking session, I got the chance to speak to the Code Your Future students as they had a small 10-minute window to ask me what they need to know about the software industry from my experience.
I got the chance to ask them some questions so I could get to know them better and try to tailor my answers to their questions with the hope that they gained some valuable knowledge.
This was useful to the students because they met people who have been in Capgemini for many years that allows the students to have a small snapshot of the different types of software development and technology backgrounds.
Organisations like Code Your Future are important to the software industry because it provides a path into becoming a software developer for people where the non-traditional routes into the industry are not an option.
In my case, my University degree ensured I had the correct skills to start my career in the software industry. Programmes like Code Your Future can provide an equal amount of programming skills that will get students to the required level needed for graduate-level jobs.
This is useful for jobs that require Node, HTML and CSS skills which are the main focus of the programme. Even thou these are the main technologies, they are used to teach coding, and the skills are transferable to other tools, languages and frameworks. We wouldn’t want them to be overloaded trying to learn too many languages at once.
Get involved if you can or share this post and promote the great work Code Your Future is doing and help change someone’s life for the better
- About Code Your Future.
- Volunteers for Code Your Future.
- Apply to become a student.
- To find out more about Capgemini’s commitment to digital inclusion, and our work with Code Your Future, visit our website here.